In extreme or debilitating emergencies please contact the doctor on call at
We hope you will never have an orthodontic emergency and, in fact, true orthodontic emergencies are few and far between. However, in the event you do need emergency care, call our office as soon as possible. Please do not come directly to the office - by calling us, you will allow us to create a time to see you. Even if you have a regular appointment scheduled, call us immediately to notify us if you need an appliance repaired.
Pain or Soreness in the Teeth and Gums
During the first week after your braces are in place and routine adjustments are complete, you will likely feel some pain, soreness or discomfort. You may take acetaminophen or other non-aspirin pain relievers while you adjust to your new braces. A warm washcloth or heating pad may reduce the soreness in your jaws. We also recommend rinsing your mouth with warm salt water and sticking to a soft food diet until the discomfort subsides.
Soreness in the Lip, Cheeks or Tongue
Until your mouth has grown accustomed to the braces, you may feel some soreness or tenderness around your lip, cheek and tongue areas. If your braces are irritating these areas, place a piece of wax over the part of the braces causing the irritation. This will allow for the sore spot to heal until you are used to your new braces.
Sometimes discomfort caused by a wire on your braces can be resolved by moving the wire away from the irritated area with a cotton swab or eraser. If the wire will not move, try covering the end of it with a small piece of cotton or a small amount of wax. If the wire is painful, you can cut it with nail clippers or scissors that have been washed and sterilized in alcohol. If you cannot resolve the wire irritation, call our office for an appointment.
Loose Brackets or Bands
Call our office immediately for advice if a bracket or wire is loosened. The bracket may need to be re-fitted as soon as possible. You may have a situation that requires cutting a wire or sliding a bracket off a wire at night or over the weekend. If you need to cut a wire in case of emergency, you may use fingernail clippers that have been washed and sterilized in alcohol. Please call our office the next business day, so that we may schedule an appointment for you.
Loose or Broken Removable Appliances
If your removable appliance breaks or is loose, this will cause it to not function properly. Stop wearing the device and call our office to set up an appointment to adjust or repair the appliance.
Most patients lose a separator during their treatment. Do not worry about losing a separator, but call our office to see if it needs to be replaced.
Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Pain
The "Temporomandibular Joint," more commonly referred to as the "jaw joint," assists in the basic opening and closing movements of the jaw. Unfortunately, this joint is a common area for recurring pain. Although conventional wisdom suggests that "popping" sounds in the jaw indicates a TMJ dysfunction, this is not always true. Many times, your jaw is functioning properly even if a "popping" sound is present when chewing or talking. If the pain is consistent or severe, please call our office to schedule an appointment.
Do not be alarmed if you accidentally swallow a part of your orthodontic appliance, such as a brace or band. It is harmless unless you have difficulty breathing. In this instance, you should seek immediate medical attention.
Oral hygiene is extremely important when undergoing orthodontic treatment. By not following a proper oral hygiene regimen, your gums may become red and swollen and may possibly bleed. To restore your gums' health, brush thoroughly and rinse with warm salt water and an antibacterial mouthwash. Make sure to floss daily to remove any food or debris.
11120 New Hampshire Ave. Suite 402 | Silver Spring, MD 20904 | (301) 593-6363 | Sitemap